Chicago’s Thattu and Tzuco are among the semifinalist nominees for best new restaurant by the 2020 James Beard Awards, it was announced Wednesday.
In addition, Boka received the lone Chicago nomination in the category of outstanding restaurant.
In the category of best chef Great Lakes region, half of the 20 nominations went to Chicago chefs:
- Thai Dang, HaiSous
- Brian Jupiter, Frontier
- Gene Kato, Momotaro
- Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe
- Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions
- Noah Sandoval, Oriole
- John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth
- Mariya Russell, Kikkō
- Erick Williams, Virtue
- Lee Wolen, Boka
In the category of outstanding chef, Chicago’s Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde made the list of semifinalists, while Emily Spurlin of Lula Cafe received a nod for outstanding pastry chef.
Rising star chef of the year nominations went to Alisha Elenz of mfk, Bar Biscay and Jeanine Lamadieu of Yūgen.
An outstanding bar program nomination went to Lost Lake, while Spiaggia received a nomination in the category for outstanding wine program.
But the semifinalist list also reflects some category snubs. There are no Chicago nominees in the categories of outstanding restaurateur, outstanding hospitality, outstanding baker, and outstanding wine, beer or spirits categories.
The awards are considered by many to be the Oscars of the culinary world. The finalists, 5 in each category, will be announced March 25. Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony May 4 at the Lyric Opera House.